About a month ago, we had True or False- Jesuit Edition and I was amazed at how many people said they got all, or nearly all, the answers. As a treat for those poor souls (who obviously have way too much time on their hands!), here are some bits of Jesuit esoterica:
1. Around the world, Jesuits talk about “Villa Days” [days off] or “going on Villa” [vacation.] How come?
2. What, in Jesuit terms, is a “Visitor”?
3. What, for the average Jesuit, is a “Haustus”?
4. In a Jesuit Catologus [membership directory], if someone is listed as “Cur. Val.” what is that person’s chief mission?
5. What, for a Jesuit, is “Personalia”?
6. What for British & Irish Jesuits [and, probably, for Australians and South Africans] is a “Long Table”?
7. What or who, for a Jesuit, is a “Beadle”?
8. Many Jesuit houses have a “Merienda” room. What is it?
9. What, in Jesuit terms, are “Post-Prandials”?
10. Who within the Jesuits has the title “ARPN”?
Answers: 1. Very early on in Jesuit history, we had a villa at Ostia near Rome where Jesuits could get away for a break. The term “Villa” became synonymous with a rest break. 2. Not used for some time, a “Visitor” was a Jesuit appointed by Fr. General to visit an area in turmoil and make any necessary changes. The last Visitor I know of was sent to South Vietnam just as the Communists were taking over. 3. From the Latin concerning “drawing water,” for Jesuits it has come to mean a party. In Jesuit communities, the Haustus Room is where the beer and cold cuts can be found. 4. “Cur. Val.” is shortened from the Latin, “Taking care of his health.” Only the oldest and most feeble Jesuits have received this mission. 5. Monthly allowance. 6. A “Long Table” is any festive meal. 7. Beadle, a term much used by Dickens and other Victorians, refers to an assistant. For Jesuits, it is the term given to the novice who helps the Novice Director to run the community. 8. Merienda, for Argentinians, is a late afternoon tea or other infusion. For Jesuits, the term has come to refer to a break room or coffee station. 9. Prandials refers to eating. “Pre-Prands” are cocktails before dinner and “Post-Prands” are liqueurs or other after dinner drinks. 10. ARPN, short for Admodum Reverendus Pater Noster – Our Most Reverend Father, is the official title of the Jesuit Superior General.